Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
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Apr 30, 2015

U.S. firms lead EU lobbying league

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. companies, including tech rivals Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Google (GOOGL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), were among leading spenders on corporate lobbying in Brussels last year, a Reuters review of new data showed (table below).

Companies had until Thursday to update public entries in the European Union’s newly revamped Transparency Register following a tightening of rules in January that obliges firms to register if they want to meet EU commissioners and senior staff.

Apr 30, 2015

Belgian Mertens dies after collapsing on pitch

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium under-21 international Gregory Mertens died on Thursday, three days after collapsing with heart failure during a match, a spokesman for his club, Lokeren, said.

The 24-year-old defender had been in a coma since going into cardiac arrest early in a reserve team game on Monday.

Apr 30, 2015

Soccer-Belgian Mertens dies after collapsing on pitch

BRUSSELS, April 30 (Reuters) – Belgium under-21 international Gregory Mertens died on Thursday, three days after collapsing with heart failure during a match, a spokesman for his club, Lokeren, said.

The 24-year-old defender had been in a coma since going into cardiac arrest early in a reserve team game on Monday.

Apr 24, 2015

EU rescue ships head for Libya, as migrants die also in Balkans

BRUSSELS/SKOPJE, April 24 (Reuters) – British and German
warships made ready to sail for waters off Libya as Europe
ramped up rescue operations in the Mediterranean after up to 900
desperate migrants drowned last weekend on a boat heading for
Italy.

Yet hours after European Union leaders agreed in Brussels on
Thursday to treble funding for EU maritime missions and pledged
more ships and aircraft, 14 clandestine migrants were killed
when a train ploughed into dozens of Somalis and Afghans making
their way in darkness along a rail track in a Macedonian gorge.

Apr 24, 2015

Shocked by drowned migrants, Europe restores rescue mission

BRUSSELS/ROME (Reuters) – Four days after up to 900 desperate people drowned trying to reach Europe from Libya, EU leaders agreed on Thursday to triple its naval search mission in the Mediterranean, restoring its funding to last year’s level.

Critics called it a face-saving operation that did not go far enough to emulate an Italian rescue mission abandoned six months ago for want of EU support. And divisions remained over longer-term proposals, ranging from dealing with people smugglers and African migrant camps to how to redistribute asylum-seekers around 28 nations where anti-immigrant parties are on the rise.

Apr 23, 2015

EU leaders to pledge rescue for migrants, but no fix for problem

BRUSSELS/ROME (Reuters) – European Union leaders will effectively reverse a cutback in rescue operations the Mediterranean on Thursday to try to prevent record numbers of people drowning as they try to flee war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

But an emergency EU summit in Brussels, called after up to 900 went down on a single boat on Sunday, will do little else beyond laying out options, including attacks on smugglers and holding camps for migrants, on which the 28 states are divided.

Apr 22, 2015

EU leaders to boost rescue operations after migrant boat disaster

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders, under pressure to act to stop more migrants dying in the Mediterranean, will agree at a crisis summit on Thursday to boost search and rescue operations and step up the fight against traffickers.

Public outrage over the death of up to 900 migrants last Sunday when their boat sank on its way to Europe from Libya has led EU governments to reverse last year’s decision to scale down search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

Apr 22, 2015

EU charges Russia’s Gazprom, alleging price gouging

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union launched a legal attack on Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday, stoking tension with Moscow as it accused the Russian gas giant of overcharging buyers in Eastern Europe and hindering competition.

The EU’s new antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, who a week ago announced a similar market abuse prosecution against U.S. tech giant Google (GOOGL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said state-controlled Gazprom was using its continued dominance in Moscow’s old Soviet client states to hike prices by as much as 40 percent over the norm.

Apr 20, 2015

Migrant deaths may shame Europe over Mediterranean moat

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The outrage Europe’s leaders face over the deaths of hundreds of refugees trying to reach its shores may force a shift in a policy critics decry as letting people drown to deter others in desperate need.

The moat that the Mediterranean forms between Fortress Europe and less fortunate neighbors may become slightly less forbidding, even if the focus will still be to discourage the crossing in ways other than raising the risk of dying at sea.

Apr 20, 2015

Analysis – Migrant deaths may shame Europe over Mediterranean moat

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The outrage Europe’s leaders face over the deaths of hundreds of refugees trying to reach its shores may force a shift in a policy critics decry as letting people drown to deter others in desperate need.

The moat that the Mediterranean forms between Fortress Europe and less fortunate neighbours may become slightly less forbidding, even if the focus will still be to discourage the crossing in ways other than raising the risk of dying at sea.

    • About Alastair

      "Editor for political and general news across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 21 years with Reuters, have reported widely on conflict, elections, society, economics, culture and sport from postings in Paris, Moscow, Berlin, London, Baghdad and Jerusalem."
      Joined Reuters:
      1990
      Languages:
      English, French, Russian, German, Italian
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